“You are a complete idiot!” screamed Selene as they sat by the river outside the town. The leaves were starting to turn shades of golden brown as the fall season crept up, as though gold were leaking onto them from the branches. Staring around, he counted the different types of shades to ignore meeting eye contact with her. Still, in the fringes of his vision, he could see her hair billowing around her, making Eris think of her as a Fury from the stories his mom used to tell him as a kid to make him behave. Perhaps Selene was a Fury in that respect.
“I knew you’d say that.”
“Then why leave the house, you idiot? My runes held!”
“You. Are. An. Idiot!”
“If it makes you feel better, she seemed very friendly.”
“Oh yes, that makes me feel so much better,” she said, shooting him an incredulous look, her eyes bulging while she hugged her hips with her nails. Eris began picking the weeds from the ground. He knew she was going to overreact.
“Oh, calm down, Selene.”
“Calm down? You’ve lost your mind. If you’re not going to worry about yourself, someone obviously has to. Unfortunately for me, that’s my lucky responsibility.”
“Well, I’m too busy worrying about you.”
“Don’t be so self-righteous, not today.” Eris picked up a rock and threw it at the river, making ripples in its flow. Selene scowled at him, her big purple eyes wide with rage. He picked up another rock and threw it.
It stopped just an inch above the water when Selene said, “revoh kcor.”
“Let it go,” muttered Eris, exasperated.
“Why should I?”
He ignored her. “Why are you doing this?”
“Further experimentation. I don’t like how this female Shadowling came knocking, and I need to know whether or not you can use magic properly to defend yourself.”
Eris let out an inaudible sigh before muttering a counterspell. The rock dropped, and Selene stared, somehow both amused and angry. “You don’t look pleased.”
“I’m pleased and angry. The Council spoils you.” Selene rolled her eyes and slumped down. Eris could have laughed but decided against it. She was right, in a way, but more importantly, he didn’t feel like getting punched.
“Jealously is not a flattering color on you.” Eris tossed the rock into the air time and time again. Selene twirled her finger around in the water and looked up at her reflection ripple and break.
“Why don’t you like using magic, Eris?”
“Whatever do you mean,” said Eris coyly. He wasn’t in the mood to have this boring conversation with Selene.
“Don’t evade the question. You never mutter a spell, choosing to use your unique talent instead. So why don’t you like using magic?”
Sighing, Eris said, “I just…I feel closer to it. I can’t explain it.”
In his mind, he scrambled for the right words. “Whenever I use magic, I feel like I’m trying to be something I’m not. Whereas with shadows, I feel like they are a part of me. I know it is, but it’s complicated, Selene.”
“Why get that rune, then?”
Eris shrugged, even though he knew she wasn’t looking at him. “I was hoping that it would give me the connection I needed. It didn’t. Instead, it only made me feel worse.”
“Is that why you kept it hidden?”
“Yes and no. The Council didn’t want me to tell anyone.”
“Has Jeanette seen it?”
“No.” He rubbed the back of his neck and ruffled his hair. Selene still didn’t look at him.
“Jeanette loves you. I hope you know that.”
“Uh, yeah, I know.”
Eris swore he saw her left cheek elevate in a sly smile. “You don’t feel connected to her either, do you?”
“I thought as much.” Then, there was a silence between them, the only noise coming from the birds and the sway of the trees in the wind.
“I care for Jeanette.”
“I know. You wouldn’t have taken her virtue otherwise.” Selene smiled, and Eris threw the rock into the water beside her head, splashing her face with water. She gasped but quickly regained her composure and wiped her face to glare at him.
“That wasn’t nice.”
“I’m aware, but it shut you up.”
“Hush. Obscenities make you look loathsome.”
“Mother would agree.”
Selene smirked. “She would.” They sat there for a moment, staring at each other, letting the silence hang heavily in the air. Then, suddenly, water hit Selene’s nose, jerking her from her meditative trance with Eris. Her head jerked upwards, and she watched the storm clouds gather, dark shades of gray blending with the white, blocking the sun and the sky.
“Shit,” swore her brother.
“Mother wouldn’t approve,” she muttered, standing up.
“Not now. We need to—”
“Run, yummy darlings?” The rain pelted down faster and harder, drenching them, and like mindless beings, they stood there getting soaked, staring before them. Then, in the shadows of a tree, there stood the female Vampyre with bright blue eyes that quickly turned to a menacing blood red. Selene gripped her brother’s arm tightly, her nails digging into his flesh.
“Run indeed,” said Eris taking a step back.
The Vampyre’s eyes widened in delight. “Then run. I do so love to play with my food.” She looked up at the fading sunlight. “It might be prudent if you ran now.” Her cold and harsh voice caused Selene to flinch and Eris to run, dragging her along.
Selene ran, trying not to look behind as the rain fell, turning the ground beneath them into a squishy muddy mess. But as always, her curiosity got the better of her. Behind them, the Vampyre stalked them, first in one place, then in another, as though the rain moved around her, providing her passage.
“Selene!” Selene turned to look ahead when something pounced on her, knocking her to the ground. Selene’s fear almost overcame her, but she was not ready to die or lose another piece of her life.
“No! Fotge!” The Vampyre was flung from her, and Selene stumbled back up and ran, looking for her brother. Something grabbed her arm, causing Selene almost to scream until she recognized her brother was dragging her along again.
“Fools!” exclaimed a voice. Selene and Eris jerked to a stop as a mass of shadows circled them. Eris recognized the female Shadowling but not the male at her side. The Vampyres, of which five now were in pursuit, stopped short of snarling, their fangs protruding fearfully. Eris and Selene stood together between the Vampyres and Shadowlings. He didn’t know where to run.
“Void, get them back to the town.”
“Fuck Senid! Go!” The Shadowling female glared at Eris, who pulled Selene along after him, not looking at either of them once. Shadowlings couldn’t die, but that didn’t mean the Vampyres couldn’t try. Then, a scream rang through the air as loud as thunder, pulling his attention back. The male Vampyre, who had attacked them, lay on the ground, his neck bent at an impossible angle, his eyes lifeless. Only the two females remained while the others had run off, vanishing in the dark foggy mist that had become the forest. Both females met his gaze, giving him a private message of their rage before grabbing the body and disappearing like the others.
“Negal gave you advice. You should follow it,” said Void as he approached the boundary. Eris looked at him, surprised. His voice was smooth and familiar, stirring something up in him, like Negal’s voice.
“Why does she care?” asked Selene. Void looked at her with almost lifeless eyes that made Eris think he was looking through her rather than at her before he spoke.
“It’s not my place.” He vanished, swallowed up by darkness.
“Eris, what’s going on?”
“I don’t know, but I think we should leave. The town—”
“The town will be fine. I have a plan.” Selene walked away, leaving Eris standing there alone in the rain.
Selene sat in Blake’s room, waiting for him to arrive. Hid bed was warm, just like she remembered. For some reason, that had not been taken from her. She heard his little sister playing downstairs, her innocent laughter filling the air.
Her reflection caught her by surprise. Her hair was tangled, and somehow mud had gotten on her hair. When had her life turned upside down? Had it begun with her strength with magic? With the message that the Queen was coming to see her? Or had her fate been written before she was born? Had it all started with the death of Eris’ father? What had caused her life to become so chaotic? The door opened, dissolving her thoughts. Blake walked in, stopping under the door frame, staring at her, confused. She gave him a weak smile.
“Close the door, Blake.” Closing his door as quietly as he could, Blake made his way to her. Selene had to admit that she felt something for Blake. She just needed to make sure.
“Blake, do you love me?”
“I—yes, I do. Why?”
“Curiosity.” She paused, tracing her fingertips across his jawline tenderly. “Blake, Eris, and I might need to leave soon because of the Vampyres and the Shadowling.”
“No, Selene you—”
“Blake, you heard the Shadowling. What more is there for us to do? Something is going on in the world.”
“Vampyres can be killed.”
“But we don’t know how and you’re forgetting one crucial fact: Shadowlings can’t be killed.”
“Don’t leave,” he said after a moment, looking away. “You mean more to me than anything.”
“You think that now, and perhaps it’s true, but this town, it’s our home, and above all else, it must be protected.” Cupping her face, Blake stared at her with his honey-gold eyes that looked at her lovingly. Her heart ached with the amount of love he held in that single gaze. Oh, if only she felt the same.
“Don’t leave, at least not yet. Please.” Blake bent his head down, pressing his lips lightly against hers. Selene welcomed the kiss but quickly regretted it, knowing it was unkind of her to play with his heart.
“I should leave now.” She made to leave, but Blake grabbed her wrist and held her back. It was pity rather than love that was pulling her down.
“Please, Selene, stay.”
Blood Hunger (Eclipsing Trilogy, #1)
Eris and Selene Sintas thought their menial Witching lives were simple. That was until the magical barrier protecting their small town vanished in the night, attracting not just the Vampyre’s that go bump in the night. Suddenly, the two siblings discover that they have been dragged into a war between the sisters of light and darkness.
Now, hunted by creatures stronger than Vampyre’s and far more evil, the Sintas Siblings must find refuge before they lose their souls to the Goddess of Darkness.